Motion markets on the move

In this Product Roundup of motion control technologies, swelling energy costs and multiplying capabilities are sparking stronger growth in motors, motion and related industries.

By Rick Pedraza, Digital Managing Editor, and Jim Montague, Executive Editor

TRADITIONAL economics pushing advances in motors and motion technologies are joining with several other forces to ignite new growth in these and associated markets. Greater efficiency and new capabilities are always in demand, but now they’re being turbocharged by accelerating fuel and power costs, enhanced intelligence and integrated designs, and a burgeoning need for motors and motion solutions in developing regions.

Researchers add that present and future growth in motors, motion control and related sectors also are being spurred by increasingly integrated, intelligent, network-enabled devices that combine self-diagnostics, control, maintenance, safety and/or sophisticated networking capabilities in one compact, unified form factor.

For example, the global, low-power AC drive market is projected to grow at an 8.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2009 after surpassing $5 billion in 2004, according to a recent study, “Low-Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook," by ARC Advisory Group. "With oil prices escalating and drive prices falling, the payback period for investment in AC drives is becoming shorter, pushing their use on a broad basis," explains Himanshu Shah, ARC’s sensor analyst and the study’s primary author.

In an earlier study, ARC reported that users’ demand for energy savings, declining device prices, and expanding applications were similarly fueling growth in the high-power AC drive market. The research organization added that investment in the oil/gas and water/wastewater industries also were expanding use of high-power AC drives.

Another analyst firm, Frost & Sullivan, adds the global swell in raw material prices includes steel, copper and aluminum, which has forced DC integral horsepower (IHP) motor manufacturers to increase motor prices to offset high production costs.

The firm’s report, “North American DC Integral Horsepower Motors Markets,” says revenue in this sector totaled $127.8 million in 2004 and projects it will reach $139.3 million in 2011.

Despite price hikes, stiff competition, and lead-time reductions, Frost & Sullivan reports that most manufacturers are enjoying sales increases and a few are even seeing double-digit growth. “There is increased demand for OEM products due to the global economic recovery and improved financial situation,” says Kishan Bhat, Frost & Sullivan’s research analyst. “The favorable business climate is leading OEMs to invest in new systems and increase their orders for the DC motors.”

Though there is competition from AC motors, Frost & Sullivan added that DC motors have cornered niche markets because they provide greater control and efficiency in industrial (material handling, hydraulic pump drives) and traction (hydraulic lifts, battery operated vehicles) applications. Similarly, the brushless DC motor market also is expected to grow steadily thanks to the technology’s low maintenance levels, quiet and smoother operation, and overall cost effectiveness.


Product Roundup:
Motors and Motion Technology

Drive on One, Standard Platform
Sinamics modular and scalable industrial AC drive has an interchangeable architecture that allows operators to select, startup and configure the right drive for any application at any power range (120 W-1 mW), using the same software. The drive line is broad enough for any standalone or multiple-drive application in any industry and are CE and UL-certified (cUL for Canada). G110 operates variable-speed, three-phase motors on single-phase line power supplies. G130 is a modular, high-power drive ideal for OEMs that construct their own drive enclosures. Rated from 500 to 800 hp, it is comprised of a power chassis that operates on three-phase, 400-480 VAC power. A controller kit supports a variety of optional components. Siemens Energy & Automation; 800/964-4114;


Inverter, Drive in One Device
ACOPOS servo drive supports the operation of all conventional motor types: synchronous motors, asynchronous motors with or without a feedback system, linear motors, and direct drives. The adaptive, asymptotic control algorithm for the sensorless operation of asynchronous motors demonstrates high-torque characteristics throughout the entire speed range. The system has power ratings between 400 W and 64 kW and can be used in different applications, including the area of materials handling as well as for main motors in the textile and plastics industries. The entire system is integrated using Ethernet Powerlink. Operating servo drives and frequency inverters on the same network guarantees universal software interfaces and diagnostic options. B&R Industrial Automation; 770/772-0400;

Washdown the Drain
SSE motor has a hydrophobic aspiration system that removes condensation moisture in the motor, eliminating the need for drains as used in conventional washdown duty motors. The motor has a stainless-steel housing, a conduit box welded to the motor, conduit box cover, shaft, base, fan cover and slinger, making it impervious to rust and deterioration caused by frequent high-pressure caustic sanitizing in food processing and pharmaceutical plants. Baldor; 800/828-4920;

Variable Frequency Drive
Stratus drive provides variable speed control of single- and three-phase fans, motors and pumps. The microprocessor-based VFD can be used for temperature, humidity, pressure and flow applications, clean room pressurization, equipment cooling, exhaust ventilation and heating/air conditioning systems. The drive operates from a 115 or 230 VAC single-phase power supply and has on-board programming that allows the setting of many parameters. Output power is 3 A for three-phase motors and 4 A for single-phase motors. Motor speed can be based on several control inputs including control signal (4-20mA, 2-10VDC), temperature (thermistor), 0-18 VDC transducer or Modbus communication link. Control Resources; 978/486-4160;

Watch Your Step
SureStep open-loop stepping system includes four standard motors, a one-size-fits-all step motor drive and a power supply. With holding torques from 83-434 oz-in., in NEMA size 17, 23 or 34 frames, the motors handle a variety of automation applications. They operate on 2.8 A per phase (size 17 motor uses 2.0 A), produce high torque, and allow the motors to achieve the best torque-to-volume ratio. The drives operate any of the four standard motors and feature standard +5 VDC optically isolated logic inputs for interfacing with DirectLOGIC PLCs or other controllers/indexers. A nine-position DIP switch is used to set up the drive; no software or add-on resistors are required for configuration. AutomationDirect: 770/889-2858;

Brush Up for Stardom
Faulhaber 4490 brushless motor comes in both the original delta wound version and the new star wound version. The motor is 44 mm diameter by 90 mm long. The 200-W motor has the combined benefits of the skew-wound System Faulhaber coil and a rare earth (NdFeB) magnet. The delta wound version should be considered for higher speed applications. The star wound version offers a higher torque output to current consumption ratio. Available with the 4490 motors are precision gearheads, encoders, and drive electronics. MicroMo Electronics; 800/807-9166;

Constant Speed and Torque
Smartstep servo motor and drive provides constant torque through its entire speed range. Its available momentary torque is three times its continuous torque, which prevents slipping from high, instantaneous loading. Sample position and speed control applications the system can be used in include conveying, electronic gearing, labeling, pick and place, indexing and winding. Pre-fabricated cables connect the system to position control modules. Single phase power input allows flexibility. An alarm number indicates fault. Pulse command input allows seamless upgrades from existing stepper systems. Omron Electronics: 866/88-OMRON;

Turn Up the Amps
SPiiPlus control module combines a multi-axis motion controller with integrated digital servo amplifiers. The controller implements a PIV filter, automatic velocity feedforward, acceleration feedforward, notch and second order low pass filter, digital current control and automatic, sinusoidal commutation on all axes at 20 kHz. Capabilities include multi-axis interpolation, inverse kinematics, PV spline motion, tight trajectories, position and I/O synchronization, SIN/COS encoder inputs, subnanometer resolution, and position and velocity accuracy and stability. The integrated drives are software configurable for both brushless and brushed servo motors. ACS-Tech80; 800/545-2980;

Altivar 71 variable-speed AC drive with dual microprocessors and motor control algorithms provides constant torque performance and speed regulation. The drive incorporates common user interfaces (0.5-700 hp), I/O options, and flexible communication options. It has a customizable LCD display that uses plain text, and features a navigation wheel that allows users to easily scroll through menus. A quick-start menu incorporates macro-configurations for commissioning. Integrated Modbus and CANOpen protocols assure integration into any device level network. PowerSuite software allows configuration, monitoring and diagnostics through an Ethernet or Bluetooth wireless connection. Schneider Electric: 800/392-8781;

Compact, Flexible, and User-Friendly
SK 500E frequency inverter is specified for power outputs from 0.25-7.5 kW and can be adapted to the requirements of specific applications. The basic model operates with sensorless current vector control (ISD) and has an integrated brake chopper and a line filter for industrial areas. Various digital and analog control functions can be assigned to its seven control inputs. One analog and two digital outputs are also available. External plug-in technology boxes allow for parametrization, control and fieldbus connection. Interface components include Profibus, CANopen, Interbus, AS Interface and DeviceNet modules, which enables integration of the inverter system into any automation environment. Getriebebau NORD: +49-45-32/401-0;

Linear Independence
Model RG linear drive assemblies have end stops fitted with v-shaped cams that reduce the linear speed of the drive without requiring electronic controls or a reduction in motor speed. After reversal, the v-cams permit ramp up of drive speed, eliminating possible whipping action of tools such as spray heads, probes and cutting blades. Because speed ramp down/up is mechanically controlled, linear drive operation is requires less operator training. The v-cam option is available on linear drive assemblies and may be retrofitted in the field. Length of the cam arms is specific to the size of the drive on which the v-cam will be used. Amacoil: 800/252-2645;

Scalable Functionality
IndraDrive incorporates a servo-drive and frequency-converter into one platform. With an optional drive-integrated, IEC61131-3-compliant PLC and motion function-block programming, the drive eliminates the need for a traditional PLC on small machines. It supports all standard communication protocols, including SERCOS, Profibus, CANopen, DeviceNet, Interbus, and analog and parallel interfaces. Drives can be equipped with additional encoder interfaces, industry-specific technology functions and cross-synchronization. Drive units are available as servo or vector, cover the entire output spectrum – from 1.50-120 kW. Power supply units are available as regenerative or non-regenerative units. Open- and closed-loop control of the motor is available on the same platform. Bosch Rexroth: 800/REXROTH;

Time for a Bath
MP-Series stainless steel motor meets , IP67 and IP69K standards and provide protection against caustic cleaning chemicals and high-pressure washdowns. The motor’s passivated stainless steel housing can be cleaned with caustic chemicals without concerns about corrosion or motor damage, and the cylindrical housing can withstand 1200 psi washdowns for water and solid ingress protection. Motors are available in three frame sizes (100 mm, 130 mm and 165 mm), and provide peak torque from 11.1-67.8 Nm (98-600 lb.-in.). Factory-sealed flying leads enhance the motor’s washdown protection capabilities and eliminate the need to open the motor to make connections. Rockwell Automation: 800/223-5354;

Start Me Up
PM108 true 1/3 hp DC motor delivers 90 VDC at 2500 rpm and 130 in-lb start/stall. Offered in two lengths (7.55 and 8.61 in) the motor has a mounted brush design with high start-and-stop torque and is ideal for personal mobility devices and industrial winch applications. Features include square end bells for base mounting (with round versions optional), a 1/2 in. output shaft and Class B rating with class F insulating materials. The housing is sealed to IP44 specifications. Options include a second component shaft extension and upgraded sealing to meet IP66 specifications. Drive end bell options include NEMA 42C face mounting and four-mounting-hole versions. Groschopp; 800/829-4135;

Keep a Low Profile
BLMFS5 flat linear motor has a steel-core forcer coil that provides continuous force to 377 N (85 lb), with peak force to 1500 N (339 lb). The moving forcer coil assembly contains Hall-effect devices and a thermal sensor. The forcer uses steel laminations to produce more force, making it ideal for high-speed, point-to-point motion applications that require high continuous and peak force ratings but require a low profile solution. Attraction force generated from the laminations can be used as a bearing pre-load. The motors are available with higher-power magnets that can be used to increase output force. Stackable magnet tracks allow for any travel length. Aerotech: 412/963-7470;

Drive with an Ethernet Interface
AX25xx-B900 Ethernet drive provide maximum output in the smallest space and can be used in applications with compact cabinets as small as 300 mm in depth. In its maximum configuration, the multi-axis system can control eight axes. The drive system is equipped for single- and multi-axis positioning tasks. It can be integrated with IPC hardware and with TwinCAT automation and motion control software. Additional axis modules (up to seven) can be plugged directly into the master module and are connected in the intermediate DC circuit via a socket strip. Beckhoff Automation: 952/890-0000;

Test Drive this Stepper
STAC6 stepper drive provides current output from 0.5-6.0 A with 90-135 VAC input, 50/60 Hz, and software selectable resolutions from 200-51,200 steps/rev at speeds up to 133 rps. Self-test and auto setup features measure and configure motor parameters automatically, while anti-resonance eliminates midrange instability for higher motor speeds and fuller use of available torque. Demand signal smoothing reduces extraneous system resonances for smoother motor performance and reduced wear on mechanical components. The drive can be configured from a drop-down menu, or can be used to create custom motor configurations. Applied Motion Products: 800-525-1609;

Integrated Flexibility
IEC motor control line includes contactors, bimetallic overload relays, and motor protection circuit breakers with common connections and accessories. Overload relays can be installed directly on contactors or separately on a 35 mm DIN rail or panel. Motor protection circuit breakers and contactors can be assembled as a single unit for DIN rail or panel installations. Accessories and size of the motor control devices allow for installation in smaller enclosures. Connection modules between the contactor and motor protection circuit breaker and commoning links to distribute power to multiple starter assemblies. c3controls: 724/775-7926;

A Higher Power
MaxPlusPlus brushless servo motors offers lower inertia and higher power in a smaller package than conventional motors. Motors have segmented lamination that yields a higher torque per unit size than conventionally wound servo motors.  Potted stators improve heat transfer for better thermal efficiency, resulting in increased torque at the motor shaft. High-performance neodymium magnets are employed for higher acceleration rates. Motors are available in frame sizes 92, 100, 115, 142, 190, 230, and 270 mm, and come with thermistor protection; resolver, incremental encoder, or absolute encoder (single- or multi-turn); optional 24-volt failsafe brake and IP65 shaft seal. Torque ranges from 1.5-160 Nm of continuous stall torque (5-500 Nm peak torque). Parker Electromechanical Automation; 707/584-2449;

Palm-sized Control
MCH-2 Motion Checker is a palm-sized plug-and-play stepper motor controller that has a built-in constant voltage driver. Front panel controls allow constant speed motion or trapezoidal motion with programmable low and high speeds, as well as ramp-up/down times. Motion profiles can be set to run indefinitely or for a set number of times. The built-in driver is intended for tin-can type stepper motos and is available in a bipolar (400 mA rated, 700 mA peak) or unipolar (2.5 mA rated, 400 mA peak) driver configurations. A separate CW/CCW output allows for attachment of an external driver. Nippon Pulse America: 540/633-1677;

Cable Saver
AMP-20542 low-inductance servo amplifier option for DMC-21x3 Ethernet motion controllers directly attaches to the 96-pin connector of the DMC-21x3, which eliminates the need for cabling. The AMP-20542 contains four transconductance, PWM amplifiers for driving small, low-inductance brush or brushless servomotors. Each amplifier operates at 18-60 VDC at up to 3.3 A continuous, 5 A peak. The drive for each axis is software configurable so it can operate in chopper or inverter mode. Galil Motion Control; 800/377-6329;

Doesn’t Lose It
IP65-rated Step AS hybrid step motor and driver package never loses synchronism. An embedded rotor position sensor constantly monitors performance to ensure no loss of motion. A protective earth ground terminal on the metal connector to the motor case properly grounds the motor to ISO 12100 conformance. The 60 mm square Step motors develop up to 280 oz.-in. holding torque; the 80 mm square motors develop up to 560 oz.-in. holding torque. Oriental Motor USA; 800/41-7903;

Got a Match?
Matchbox-size Whistle digital servo drive delivers up to 500 W continuous power at up to 99% efficiency, and peak power of 1 kW power. It provides sinusoidal current, velocity and full position control, interfaces to brush DC, brushless PM, linear and/or voice coil motors. Power is provided by an external 7.5-95 VDC isolated power supply.  A smart supply control algorithm eliminates the need for a separate logic supply. Elmo Motion Control; 978/399-0034;

Dust CAN
SilverDust IGB servo motion controller/driver for servo control of NEMA 17 and 23 frame stepmotors with the CAN interface is fully isolated and supports up to 64 devices on the 1MB bus. CAN interfaces to other CAN products (master or slave) or as a local bus for peer-to-peer data sharing of encoder position, velocity, torque and I/O. RS232 or RS485 are still available for interface to a host such as a PLC, HMI or PC. QuickSilver Controls; 888/660-3801;

Won’t Be Framed
ULT frameless motors up to 355 mm dia. with 200 mm through holes have peak torque ranges <1-1,000 NM. These direct drive frameless motors connect to standard three-phase brushless amplifiers or digital drives. They have low-profile axial height with a 10:1 ratio between diameter and length and a large through hole. Most versions have hall devices that do not lengthen the motor. Applimotion; 916/652-3118;

Call Me Mr. Servo
MR-J2SAC servo line includes 200-230 VAC and 380-480 VAC models, with 50 W-55 kW capacities. Servos are available with analog speed or torque control, digital pulse train, SSCNET and CC-Link high-speed networks, and in standalone motion controller versions. All motos come with 131,072 ppr absolute encoders. MR-Configurator Windows-based setup software has diagnostic functions, a machine analyzer to find resonant frequencies of the load and set notch filters, alarm monitor with history, data, and the ability to assign and monitor I/O. Mitsubishi Electric Automation; 847/478-2100;

Synchronous Motors for Hazardous Locations
Hazardous-duty synchronous motors satisfy ATEX standards for potentially explosive atmospheres as defined by CE directive 94/9/EC. Motors are available in UL-listed versions for use in Class 1, Group D locations. High pole count motors turn at slower speeds (72 rpm at 60Hz, or 60 rpm at 50Hz). Danaher Motion; 866/993-2624;

The Worm Turns
Three-phase worm-geared motors with standard two-stage design have installation options including foot or flange with single or double-output shaft, shaft mounting with hollow shaft in keyed, or shrink-disk version with torque arm. The series is available with a power range from 0.05-7.5 hp, output speeds of 0.2-300 rpm and torque of 220-8,850 lb-in. The gearbox housing is sealed for operation in harsh conditions. Danfoss Bauer; 732/469-8770;

Hollow-Shaft Gearmotors
Hollow-shaft right-angle AC, DC, and BLDC gearmotors connect directly to the driven load, eliminating shaft couplings and mounting hardware that can be unsafe, bulky and present alignment issues. Gearmotor solutions include left or right-hand face or flange mounts, continuous output torques from 5.2-575 lb-in. and gear ratios of 5:1-3600:1. Bodine Electric; 773/478-3515;

Graduate to 600 V Class
ACS550 drives have been extended beyond the 208/240 V and 380/480 V class. The power-to-volume ratio in the sensorless vector design is combined with two internal slots for options such as encoder feedback, 115/230 V digital interface card, I/O expansion, or fieldbus adapters. The 600 V drive units are available from stock. ABB; 262/785-8339;

SmartMotor Gets a D
Smart motor has been redesigned to use industry-standard Double D-sub connectors available with other smart motors. The Double D-sub connector, with a 15-pin D-sub I/O and a 7-pin combo D-sub power and I/O, provides better resistance to harsh environments, and better compatibility with existing systems. The smart motor includes a compact size and fully-integrated motion control capability for motion control requirements. Animatics; 408/748-8721;

Drive Intelligently
MDrive42 AC-powered integrated motor and driver plugs directly into electric outlets and is suited for brushless motor control applications in robotics, assembly, semiconductor manufacturing, packaging, engraving, inspection and pick-and-place. An optional internal encoder, planetary gearbox and rear control knob are available. Intelligent Motion Systems; 860/295-6102;

AC Drive Takes on Servos
The G7 adjustable-frequency AC drive gets servo performance from induction motors. It has a three-level power architecture at 480 V to eliminate problems with IGBT switching, protect from motor insulation failure, and lower motor noise. The drive is suitable for speed, torque or position control applications. It supports DeviceNet, Profibus-DP, Modbus Plus, and Ethernet Modbus TCP/IP networks. Programming is via DriveWorksEZ software on a PC. Yaskawa; 800/927-5292;